When To Wash, Toss, and Replace: Makeup and Beauty Version

I will be the first to admit that I had no idea makeup expires, I mean I felt like I was going to have to ditch that eyeshadow I bought when I was in high school eventually but I didn’t know when.

Before becoming a mom, I went on a purge and disposed of almost all of my makeup, beauty products, hair tools, and replaced much more. However, I learned from recent conversations that most individuals aren’t aware that these products have expiration dates or how to wash their tools.

I created this guide so on your next day off or when the kids go to bed, you can go through your stash of beauty goods and makeup supplies and toss what you need to and replace what you must!

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  1. Primer: One year
  2. Foundation: One year
  3. Blush: Two Years
  4. Mascara: Every Three Months
  5. Lipstick: One year
  6. Eye Shadow: Two Years
  7. Cream Eye Shadows: Every Six Months
  8. Pencil Eyeliners: One Year
  9. Gel/Liquid Eyeliner: Every Three Months


Make sure to sanitize and clean your makeup and beauty tools often to prevent the spread of bacteria, oil, and keep your skin clear. I highly recommend the (Sigma Beauty Spa Cleaning Brush) because it cleans all of your various tools and it’s so satisfying to dry your brushes after!

How to sanitize your makeup: All you need is a mini spray bottle, water, and rubbing alcohol. Spritz the mixture directly onto your palettes and let them air dry. Use rubbing alcohol disinfecting wipes to clean the nozzles of your liquid foundation bottles and the ends of your pencils, just soak the pencil sharpeners in some of the solution for a few minutes to kill bacteria.

Also, NEVER use saliva or add water to dry mascara, just toss it and purchase a new one. Doing so to your mascara will spread bacteria and can cause eye infections.


When to ditch and replace your makeup brushes:

  • They are bent and out of shape
  • They are discolored
  • Bristles are frayed or falling out
  • It isn’t applying product effectively

How to clean makeup brushes:

Squirt some Dawn (it cleans the oil and funk better than baby shampoo) onto your Sigma Beauty Spa Cleaning Brush and throughly clean the brush using their variations of bristle patterns. But NEVER dry your makeup brushes with a blow drier, let them air dry.


  1. Nail Polish: One Year
  2. Sunscreen: One-Two Years
  3. Shampoo: Three years + (shampoo has a very long shelf life, toss if it changes texture.)
  4. Soaps/Cleansers: One-Two Years (Toss if the smell or texture is off and it product separates.)
  5. Moisturizer: One Year
  6. Serums: One Year or Less


Most beauty products have the expiration date printed on the bottle, it usually looks like a jar of opened moisturizer and says something like ‘”12M.”

So have fun tossing, washing, and replacing your beauty products and makeup! Now you have an excuse to splurge at Sephora 🙂


A beauty obsessed mama!

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